Chef Creates Food-less Masterpieces

Gagnaire & friend: "Ees eet timed to explode en schedule?"
Gagnaire & friend: "Ees eet timed to explode en schedule?"

This confirms it, we are in The End of Times. French chef Pierre Gagnaire at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental has created what he's calling the first entirely food-free restaurant dish, at least according to the PR the hotel is sending out. The recipe for "Le Note a Note", just one course in an 11-course synthetic tasting menu, is comprised of ascorbic acid, citric acid, glucose, and maltitol. Isn't that the exact recipe for chewable C tablets? Reports say the dish looks like little pearls and tastes a bit like apple and lemon. Or like a Flintstones vitamin, take your pick.

Can I just put this out there -- isn't there enough synthetic food on our grocery store shelves that we don't necessarily want a kitchen lab approximation of Cocoa Krispies or Fruity Pebbles when we book a table at some high-end restaurant? Am I being a hopeless curmudgeon? I mean, I'm sure Gagnaire and his sous chefs are having a blast back there playing mad scientist, but I can't imagine that his customers are similarly enthralled. The dish below, for example, looks like a pickled pig's testicle set alongside a souvenir model of the World's Fair, interesting....but edible?

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